The Burkinabe poultry sector can become safer and more productive by improved farm and market practices. This is not easy and does not happen overnight. However, this challenge does not stop a dedicated team of researchers under the leadership of Dr. Michel Dione from the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) from taking on this challenge. In collaboration with many partner organizations including government officials at various levels as well as the National Poultry Promotion Center (CPAVI), producer organizations and researchers, the team implements the Poultry Losses and One Health (POLOH) project in Burkina Faso to address this challenge.

In FY 2023, 211 stakeholders (including 64 female) were engaged through project workshop launches at central and local levels, site scoping, intervention design, data collection and intervention validation workshops. This co-creation process allowed for the project team to adapt the planned project activities to be more locally driven, ensuring more buy-in from all involved. These interactive sessions built on findings from qualitative research that targeted 240 poultry producers (160 female and 80 male) as well as findings from a quantitative baseline survey targeting 350 chicken-producing households in 23 villages. Indicators targeted during the baseline survey were economic indicators, production indices, chicken consumption practices (meat and eggs), hygiene practices, self-reported health and family health.

These many and very interactive and lively engagements allowed the team to ground truth some of their assumptions. Solutions “known” by experts were not common knowledge among other stakeholders, particularly women that constitute an important part of the poultry sector in Burkina Faso. Through these stakeholder engagements and capacity building activities, the project has raised awareness among stakeholders and technical partners on the importance of considering the One Health approach in dealing with issues along the poultry value chain.

Ten One Health Poultry Champions selected from various institutions are engaged with the project team and partners to co-create innovative Integrated Educational and Training packages using a holistic approach that promotes hygiene practices, biosecurity, improved management, poultry health and welfare, and production of high-quality poultry products. Rather than developing something entirely new, the project worked with CPAVI to improve and complement their existing training manuals (with topics related to One Health) which are already widely used throughout the country. The roll out of the training courses and the related vaccination of poultry will take place in the next fiscal year.

Apart from linkages at the national level, the project team also benefitted from other ongoing research ILRI-led initiatives in Burkina Faso such as Urban food markets in Africa: Incentivizing food safety using a pull-push approach project focusing on consumers of chicken meat. The project has further built a partnership with the Medical Research Council (MRC) unit based in The Gambia and part of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), which allowed a graduate student to attend a training course on genomics and bioinformatics in April 2023 at the MRC in The Gambia.

Throughout its implementation, the project will strengthen links with partners and stakeholders, which is key for sustainability. It will further encourage the One Health culture among partners, by building on learnings from the interventions’ field evaluations.

by Livestock Lab
Source: UF/IFAS Pest Alert

Note: All images and contents are the property of UF/IFAS.’

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